2013 Penn Summer Fellows Program (for doctoral students)

"Apply now for the 2013 Penn Summer Fellows Program

The University of Pennsylvania’s Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) 
Program invites doctoral students everywhere to apply for the 2013 
Penn Summer Fellowship Program.

Facilitated by Peter Frumkin, Professor of Social Policy and 
Director of Penn's NPL Program, the seminar will explore emerging 
issues in the world of nonprofit organizations, voluntary action, 
philanthropy and international civil society. The program will be 
held  June 3-28, 2013 at The University of Pennsylvania. Students 
are expected to submit a draft research paper that they would like 
to refine and prepare for publication during the program. Housing 
in Philadelphia near the Penn campus and $3,000 stipends are 
provided to all Summer Fellows.

Eligibility: Graduate students currently enrolled in PhD programs 
at degree-granting institutions

Submission deadline: February 28, 2013

Submission requirements: A resume, a draft research paper 
(unpublished) on a topic related to the nonprofit sector, and an 

Send to leeamy1      [at]     sp2    [dot]  upenn  [dot]  edu"

Another Community and Grassroots Association (CGA) Section Colloquium

Here is another CGA colloqium at our conference in Indiana:

057. Community and Grassroots Association (CGA) Section Colloquium: “The Organized Dynamics of Contemporary Contention around the World, from Arab Spring to OWS”
1:30 to 3:00 pm Thur., Nov. 15

In this colloquium, presenters will discuss the organizational and individual underpinnings of recent contention around the world. Participants will discuss the roles of nonprofit organizations in sponsoring and incubating movements such as Occupy Wall Street (OWS), the Tea Party, and the Arab Spring, as well as compare movements in countries like India, South Africa, Chile, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In addition, participants will discuss OWS movement’s successful and unsuccessful efforts to transcend racial, class, gender, and identity boundaries, as well as the results of an online survey of OWSers’ characteristics, previous activities, and involvement in OWS.

Longer Narrative
Presenters will initiate discussion among attendees on the following topics based on their research on Occupy Wall Street and similar social movements around the world. This is of interest given its timeliness and growing scholarly and public interest in these social movement activities and organizations.

“Nonprofits and Protest: What’s the Connection?” by Fabio Rojas

Abstract: Social movements have taken center stage. Occupy, the Tea Party, and the Arab Spring – these movements have all had an impact on contemporary society. This paper asks: what roles do non-profits have in these movements? This paper will focus on the different ways that non-profits shape movements as sponsors and incubators of movements.

“Conflict and Identity within the 99%: OWS and the Politics of Consensus” by Erica Kohl-Arenas

Abstract: This presentation will address questions of race, class, gender and identity within the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. Since nearly the beginnings of the New York City occupation of Zuccotti Park, a significant number of people of color interested in aligning with the movement have expressed concern with the General Assembly and general consensus process used by movement facilitators. From a People of Color Caucus, to various Occupy the Hood groups emerging across New York City’s 5 boroughs questions of privilege and elite leadership have been raised by those who have felt excluded from or controlled by a centralized OWS structure. This talk will share informal findings from personal observations, The New School student experiences, and grassroots media coverage on this topic. The presentation will also engage broader theoretical questions about building diverse social movements and the opportunities and dilemmas of the popular consensus model.

“Institutional Dimensions of Support for and Participation in Occupy Wall Street” by Hector R. Cordero-Guzman

Abstract: During the last few months, evolving Social Movements converging around Occupy Wall Street (OWS) have been galvanizing the attention of the country and the world and have been able to organize Americans into the largest demonstrations and mass protest activities in response to the Great Recession. The successes of these mobilizations has led to considerable interest among researchers, policy makers, activists and others concerned with emerging social movements on the characteristics of persons interested in, supporting, and participating in these activities and in the broader social movement. The internet with a number of websites and social media have been central to connecting participants in OWS and to the development and management of OWS working groups and related movement infrastructure. Using data from a large survey of users of one of the main sites in OWS: occupywallst.org, this paper discusses the characteristics of users of the website that told us they supported the OWS movement and those that indicated that they had participated in the activities coordinated by the various groups and organizations involved. We will explore the demographic characteristics of participants, their involvement in previous social movements, and their participation on other community based groups, organizations and advocacy activities in order to better understand the characteristics of persons involved, their institutional connections to other movements and organizations, and the relationship between involvement in community based groups and organizations and participation in OWS activities.

“Citizen Activism and Civil Society Development: International Perspectives” by L. David Brown

Abstract: This presentation will summarize initial results of a multi-country, multi-region research initiative on the evolution of civil society and the links among eruptions of citizen activism and existing civil society actors. It will draw on cases from countries like India, South Africa, Chile, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to explore factors underlying eruptions, the kinds of challenges they pose for existing institutions, and their implications for practitioners and policy makers.

CGA section colloqium on participatory practices – 3:15-4:45pm Thur., Nov. 15, 2102

Looking ahead to our conference in Indianapolis, Indiana:

072. Community and Grassroots Association (CGA) Section Colloquium: “Pushing the Organizational Envelope: From Participatory City Governance to Workers’ Cooperatives”
3:15- 4:45 pm Thur., Nov. 15, 2012

Participants will discuss democratic or participatory practices used in contemporary venues ranging from city governance to workers’ cooperatives. Chen will describe the debut of participatory budgeting in New York City, in which those who work, live, or attend school in four districts have proposed projects using $6 million of local funds. Greer will examine how participatory practices could address the increasing lack of accountability among social service agencies. Hoffman will compare dispute resolutions of worker cooperatives from the three industries of coal mining, taxicab driving, and food distribution. From Rothschild, participants will learn about a meta-synthetic effort that analyzes over a hundred studies on worker cooperatives and how this method could be applied to other organizational studies.

Longer Narrative
Presenters will initiate discussion among attendees on the following topics based on their research on democratic or participatory practices in contemporary venues ranging from city governance to workers’ cooperatives. These topics are timely since they cover cutting-edge participatory practices in the field and new research methods for studying these practices.

1. “Spreading Democratic Practices: Participatory Budgeting in New York City (NYC)” by Katherine K. Chen

Abstract: I will present the newly introduced practice of participatory budgeting in New York City (NYC). Those who work, live, or attend school in four districts can propose and develop projects for how to spend $6 million of funds set aside by 4 city council members. NYC is the second city in the US to try participatory budgeting in city governance. Based on participant-observations and observations of the training and neighborhood assemblies in which groups discuss and elaborate on possible proposals, as well as observations of the “First International Conference on Participatory Budgeting in the US and Canada, I will discuss lessons learned and anticipate challenges of implementing participatory budgeting, as well as implications for the spread of participatory practices more generally.

2. “Participatory practices in small nonprofits: how community counts” by Kerry Greer
As social service agencies emerged as the primary means for delivering services to the neediest members of society, their position has shifted from advocates for the poor to a role more akin to a governing agency that is unelected and has little formal accountability to the community they serve. Nonprofit governance focuses on adherence to mission statements, but as the role of social service agencies has become more critical in ensuring social welfare, and as funding has shifted away from government funds and toward private donations and grants, the range of organizations and people nonprofit agencies are accountable to has increased. This study examines how nonprofit organizations in a small Midwest community manage this shifting role, and theorizes on the mechanisms that communities utilize to hold agencies accountable.

3. “Worker Co-operatives: Dispute Resolution and the Empowered Worker” by Elizabeth A. Hoffman
This study compares dispute resolution strategies of workers in hierarchical, conventional businesses with those of members of worker cooperatives, organizations in which all workers co-own and co-manage the business. Drawing on data from three industries (coal mining, taxicab driving, and food distribution), this study finds support for some predictions in the literature that assert that the cooperative’s flattened structure and egalitarian ideology will affect workers’ grievance resolution. Although the data do not indicate a single pattern in dispute resolution strategies (i.e., with all members of the cooperatives resolving their disputes one way and all non-cooperative employees using different strategies), the data do demonstrate that, when comparing matched cooperative and conventional businesses within each industry, the worker cooperative members enjoy more dispute resolution strategies than their conventionally employed counterparts.

4. “A Meta-synthesis Approach to the Study of Workers’ Cooperatives” by Joyce Rothschild

This presentation will discuss the value of bringing together for analysis the 100+ studies that have been done on workers’ cooperatives. This qualitative meta-synthetic approach allows the researcher to retain the depth that comes from 100+ researchers’ observations and insights into the self-management processes adopted by these alternative firms, along with statistical analysis that comes from having a larger number of organizations to analyze. The author will discuss how this approach can be fruitfully used in the study of any type of non-profit enterprise.

OWS Questions

The Occupy Wall Street protest movement began September 17th, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, New York City.  In less than a year, the OWS has spurred groups and events around the globe who have adopted the Occupy banner.

While it is difficult to estimate the size or to foresee how the movement will evolve, it has inspired many of us to reflect on the social movements and grassroots efforts we study, teach about and participate in.

We invite you to share your experience and thoughts. 

Join the conversation

Question #4: Community-University Partnerships

How can faculty effectively engage with grassroots and other community groups without overwhelming themselves or their community partners (in community-service learning projects, for example)?

Question #3: Community-University Partnerships

How can university and community partners balance competing interests (e.g., a university’s plans for growth and expansion versus community preservation)?

Please see the introduction to this blog – posted on Monday, 4/2

Question #2 – Community-University Partnerships

What, if anything, is distinct about establishing and sustaining CUPs in rural versus urban locations?  For public versus private institutions?


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